December 14, 2019, 04:23:27 PM

Author Topic: SPFBO :as a reader have you discovered any new favourites from the last 10?  (Read 361 times)

Offline Eclipse

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There has now been 40 novels in the finals of SPFBO since 2015

How many have you read and did you give any 5/5 ?

I've read  13 of them and soon to be 14, most of them are okay in my opinion.

The only ones I truly enjoyed were City of Burning Shadow,Shattered Sands and erm Senlin Ascends but that didn't reach the final.


https://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2016/04/story-bundle-finalists-from-spfbo-2015.htm

https://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-final-round-of-self-published.html

https://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2017/11/spfbo-2017-finals.html

https://mark---lawrence.blogspot.com/2018/11/spfbo-2018-finals.html
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 07:36:57 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Bender

Orconomics (and it's sequel)
Here be Dragons

Were fantastic.

Will read Grey Bastards sometime soon ..
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

Offline Eclipse

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Was here be dragons a last 10 finalist?
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Bender

Was here be dragons a last 10 finalist?

Nope. Semi's.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

Offline Eclipse

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Need new judges if better books fall by the wayside in the semis  ;)
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline DrNefario

I've read quite a few (but strangely none of the winners, yet). They're quite often a handy thing to use my kindle loans on. For the most part they've been fine but not great.

I guess I'd say Phil Tucker was the pick of the bunch for me. He feels like a safe pair of hands, competent and organised. I still haven't read book three of his original SPFBO series (Black Gate Chronicles?), but I did enjoy his Euphoria Online trilogy.

I also liked We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson and The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson.

(I'd probably make a much better version of this post if I referred to my records, but I'm on my iPad and it will probably disappear if I switch away, so maybe I'll come back to it later.)

It does seem like the finalists from later contests are more complete and more professional. The early ones were a bit more wild and uneven.

Edit #1: I totally forgot Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe, which I really enjoyed. Enough that I've read the second book and paid actual money for his earlier related series.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 10:23:16 PM by DrNefario »

Offline NedMarcus

I enjoyed some, but apart from The Grey Bastards, all of them were knocked out in the first round.

I liked Up To The Throne by Toby Frost, but it was knocked out in the first round this year. Likewise, Child of the Flames by DW Hawkins. The book had some flaws, but the story was good.

From last year I enjoyed Nectar and Ambrosia by DM Hamill. An urban fantasy set in a bar where the gods drink, and The Ember Child by Anthony Mitchell which is an exciting fantasy adventure. Don't be put off by the plain cover.



Offline Eclipse

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I've read quite a few (but strangely none of the winners, yet). They're quite often a handy thing to use my kindle loans on. For the most part they've been fine but not great.

I see quite a few of us on the forum feel this way with us preferring books which didn’t make the last 10 and being underwhelmed by the final 10 which are fine but not mind blowing.

I may be biased but if we had judges from here for example I believe We would have a different winner hehe. I just prefer my recommendations from here.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 06:11:37 AM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline DrNefario

Now I'm at work, and able to look at my Google Sheet at the same time as this browser window, I see that I've read 14 of the 40 finalists. They were mostly OK. The worse ones were generally just not my thing or were too variable in quality. I gave Path of Flames and Sufficiently Advanced Magic a 9/10 when I was trying to figure out my own ratings.

I also see I actually rated Ruthless Magic (Fantasy Faction's pick) above We Ride the Storm last time, which is probably fair, I did really like it. I guess the latter feels more like my kind of thing. Ruthless Magic was a YA modern-day setting with an unnecessarily dangerous magic contest. A Tri-Wizard Hunger Games. A trope I do quite enjoy (see Sufficiently Advanced Magic).

(My lowest scores were a 4 for Sowing and a 5 for Assassin's Charge, both of which were still OK, but either had flaws or were just not my thing. Or both.)

At one point I was keen to read all of the finalists and see how I scored them, but I think now I'm more inclined to see what bubbles up from the whole contest that sounds interesting. I'm quite prepared to look at semi-finalists or first-round exits if they sound interesting, although I haven't kept a spreadsheet on those so I can't necessarily remember what they are. (I do remember Senlin Ascends, obviously, and more recently there was The Half-Killed by Quenby Olson, which I liked.)

Offline Bender

Arcane Ascension is a lovely read. Though the author has to work on making the sequels a bit less repetitive, it still is a fun read.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot